Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby sloz » Sat 04 May, 2019 10:37 pm

This is a question that will be relevant to people with a habit for off-track walking in Tasmania.

As I understand it, minimal impact codes means doing our best not to leave any noticeable effect of our passage behind.

Recently I discovered pink flagging tape in the forest on the common route to Lake Oenone on Mt Olympus.
I realise this tape was placed to mark a convenient route.

Well I thought pink tape doesn't belong in a pristine forest.

So I removed all the tape on the way up.

I had no trouble following the same pad on the return.

I carried all that pink plastic out and disposed of it at the Lake St Clair visitor centre.



I have a question to the Tasmanian bushwalking community.


"Is placing flagging tape to mark unofficial routes a violation of 'leave no trace' principles?"


Discuss. ;)
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby CBee » Sun 05 May, 2019 9:44 am

I personally don't see the problem of pink flagging, as long you remove it on the way back. That's the reason why you flag in the first place, to find the way back quicker.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby tastrax » Sun 05 May, 2019 11:11 am

sloz wrote:"Is placing flagging tape to mark unofficial routes a violation of 'leave no trace' principles?"


YES
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 05 May, 2019 2:57 pm

There's a few threads on this forum discussing this. The odd piece to mark an area that requires staying on the correct route I don't have an issue with but in general I hate seeing pink tape everywhere. I've removed large bags of it on recent walks. Have been to mt Olympus twice in recent months and on my last trip I noticed someone had gone over the top with tagging.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby stepbystep » Mon 06 May, 2019 7:52 am

Walking clubs seem to be the worst offenders. I went up Mt Weld the day after a walking club flagged the whole route. I got most of it.

From reports Oenone had 10 or 11 groups up there over the Easter break, no doubt a record. The Labyrinth apparently over-run...Visitation numbers to sensitive areas probably the biggest issue we face. Combating how that happens is our big issue in Tassie atm...

I've used tape once, over a decade ago and removed them upon my return. Haven't felt the need to again, they make you lazy when navigating and observing the landscape.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby Aardvark » Mon 06 May, 2019 8:56 am

It's a problem all over.
'Walking clubs seem to be the worst offenders.'
I think your perception of who is doing it will depend on many factors. The perpetrators will vary from area to area.
I removed pockets full of tape yesterday.
Whilst i will have to admit i have taken benefit from tape being present, the overwhelming number of occasions where i encounter tape, i am removing it because it is so unnecessary OR i am incensed by the arrogance in people leaving it in place. That is arrogance born from laziness or the belief that they are helping others.
It is not the right of anyone to think it's OK to adopt the role of official navigator/surveyor for everybody else. You are robbing others of the chance to develop skills and to enjoy the thrill of navigating for themselves.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby Huntsman247 » Mon 06 May, 2019 11:28 pm

I've seen this topic discussed a couple times here and it usually has some pretty strong advocates in the 'for' group. I agree with Aardvark that just about always, pink tape or ribbon appears in places when it's not hard to know that your on the right route or track. Usually just above a Carin or obvious footpad.

But regardless let's say that it is 'well placed' to assist in navigating, its still a fineable offence I'm pretty sure and it's littering. I just got back this afternoon from a multi-day and collected an A4 sized ziplock bag full! One quarter of that bag contained tape that had deteriorated to the point it was falling off the tree/branch or on the ground. See image attached. Can you spot the tape? That's how I found heaps of them.
I ask those that think using pink tape is a good noble idea, how is this different from dropping snack food packaging as you walk through the bush? Usefulness debate aside, it ends up polluting/littering a pristine area and can cause illness and death to wildlife.
How many TV ads tell us that as citizens it's technically our lawful duty to report 'tossers' or people who willing litter?
Honestly how is pink tape different to a Mars bar wrapper at the end of the day? Both can be argued to have been useful and to have served a purpose at some stage...

Also I know personally of 2 people that have gotten lost in the bush due to not knowing how to navigate and following pink tape which turned out not to be 'track markers'.
Pink tape encourages the idea that you don't need to learn to navigate to go into remote areas. When that is what gets people lost.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby Nuts » Tue 07 May, 2019 6:30 am

I have a feeling this Tas parks policy is becoming old-er school/ gathering dust:

Screen Shot 2019-05-07 at 6.26.33 am.png
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby wildwanderer » Tue 07 May, 2019 9:34 am

Huntsman247 wrote:I've seen this topic discussed a couple times here and it usually has some pretty strong advocates in the 'for' group.


:lol: I posted my concern in one of the tas route creation topics and was promptly hauled out for chastisement by a baying mob.

That said there are people doing great work (and unpaid) on track maintenance and creation of new routes. For which I’m thankful.
Unfortunately (in my opinion) tape is also used during this maintenance/creation.

When I suggested cairns, I was told there wasn’t any rocks. (fair enough). An option of a GPX only route was also not that popular.
Personally, I feel that a small metal route marker nailed to a tree is a better option if the route must be marked. At least it less likely to fall off in 6 months/year and end up in a stream.

Route marking can be helpful. It can funnel people along one route which prevents multiple tracks developing in the same direction which means less impact. I just wish it could be done without plastic tape.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby ofuros » Tue 07 May, 2019 11:20 am

Previous robust tape discussion...
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=26241

Wood fibre tape...biodegradable.
https://www.forestrytools.com.au/index.php?id=149
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby north-north-west » Thu 09 May, 2019 5:59 pm

Timely. I'm just back from reclimbing a mountain via a different route to the previous ascent and, on the descent, kept tripping over sections of tape.

First, if you're going to mark a route with no visible pad or track, what's the point of having the tape so far apart that you can't see one bit from the last?
Second, it's rubbish and pollutes our wilderness.
Third, if you really need it to be able to find your way back, remove it as you leave.
Fourth, learn to navigate so you don't "need" markers.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby sloz » Mon 20 May, 2019 9:15 pm

Righteo, glad I wasn't the only one offended by pink bits of plastic in a pristine forest.

However, so far it has been a very one sided argument. I would really like to hear from those who have been placing the said pink tape this summer.

Apparently Jaffa vale between Dixon's Kingdom and Lake Ball is currently plastered with the stuff.
Anyone wants to own up to this? I'd love to hear why it was placed in the first place... There is a creek to follow in an open valley!

I'd just like to know what is it that gives some people the perceived right to place tape in the first place.

Anyone out there from the Launceston or Hobart walking club who could explain this to me?

If the act of marking routes is encouraged by our walking clubs, then what are the guidelines that are usually followed? Perhaps it is time we reviewed what these guidelines are.

Many bushwalking practices have changed over the decades. We don't strip pandanni leaves any more to use as kindling for starting campfires. Maybe it's time the walking clubs redefined the guidelines for marking trails?

Under which circumstances is it acceptable to leave pink tape behind? When should it be an offence?
Discuss. :)
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby rangersac » Tue 21 May, 2019 8:41 am

sloz wrote:Apparently Jaffa vale between Dixon's Kingdom and Lake Ball is currently plastered with the stuff.


Yep, I was up there in late March and walked both the usual valley route and the newly flagged one, which was on the Solomon's throne side of the valley basically following the edge of the tree line. It had also obviously been in use for some time as the track was easy to follow. I presumed this was a Parks effort to try and reduce the foot traffic through the wetter areas of the valley in an effort to reduce erosion, but I really didn't see the value of it. The standard route is in pretty decent nick, the new route was wearing in fast, and you could clearly see where there were going to be new erosion issues before too long
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby GPSGuided » Tue 21 May, 2019 2:37 pm

People have pointed the responsibility on the various walking groups but has anyone seen people putting them up? To get to a solution, shouldn’t those offenders be contacted and informed? What’s their reason for putting these up in the first place? One scenario I can imagine is that a leader put it up to make sure stragglers of the group won’t get lost. Is that the reason they get put up? As for marking the return route, that would be the second reason. With so many tags dotted around the bush, can’t say I’ve seen anyone admitting to his/her habit.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby Azza » Tue 21 May, 2019 5:01 pm

GPSGuided wrote:People have pointed the responsibility on the various walking groups but has anyone seen people putting them up? To get to a solution, shouldn’t those offenders be contacted and informed? What’s their reason for putting these up in the first place? One scenario I can imagine is that a leader put it up to make sure stragglers of the group won’t get lost. Is that the reason they get put up? As for marking the return route, that would be the second reason. With so many tags dotted around the bush, can’t say I’ve seen anyone admitting to his/her habit.


Tassie is a small place and you hear stories/rumours etc from time to time about how XYZ tagged a certain route.

Particularly with things like the Peak Bagging list - if you keep an eye on various facebook groups you'll notice there are often repeat trips to certain places in quick succession.
e.g. a group will go somewhere and a few weeks later another group with be out there to get their points.

I've come across a few surprises out there, routes that would have been untracked hell missions a few years ago tapped and in the meantime hordes have been through to get their points.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby Heremeahappy1 » Tue 21 May, 2019 10:09 pm

LNT principles
Don't carry in what you can't carry out incl your own s%#t and tp.
Don't leave s%&t behind ie pink tape, rubbish.
Don't buy excessive amounts of s$%t, you actually don't need 23 different packs.
Don't be a s$%t and light fires when not required.
If we look after our s#%t, it will around for generations to come.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby Markus » Wed 22 May, 2019 12:06 pm

north-north-west wrote:Timely. I'm just back from reclimbing a mountain via a different route to the previous ascent and, on the descent, kept tripping over sections of tape.

First, if you're going to mark a route with no visible pad or track, what's the point of having the tape so far apart that you can't see one bit from the last?
Second, it's rubbish and pollutes our wilderness.
Third, if you really need it to be able to find your way back, remove it as you leave.
Fourth, learn to navigate so you don't "need" markers.


Couldn't agree more with all four points!

As ILUVSWTAS mentioned, someone has gone overboard on Mt Olympus to the point where there are now multiple generations of tape (blue pink etc) both in trees and older generations littering the landscape.
Drys Bluff is another-one that was recently flagged beyond belief, using the large 'Caution' yellow/black construction tape and placed every few meters!?! Thankfully its slowly being removed.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby potato » Wed 22 May, 2019 12:19 pm

It's simple, just learn to navigate.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby crollsurf » Wed 22 May, 2019 1:19 pm

Just be aware that researchers also use tape to mark out study areas.

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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby GPSGuided » Wed 22 May, 2019 1:52 pm

crollsurf wrote:Just be aware that researchers also use tape to mark out study areas.

Do researchers and those with legitimate purposes have special tapes to identify their work?
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby potato » Wed 22 May, 2019 1:55 pm

No they don't and they are often very bad at removing tape.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby pazzar » Wed 22 May, 2019 2:29 pm

In my experience, tape is rarely used for research purposes. Metal pins are much more common, and are removed when the research has been completed. There is a requirement in Tasmania to notify the PWS if any permanent markers are to be left behind for research purposes, and permission needs to be sought prior to leaving anything. Rules may be different in areas that are not managed by PWS. Most projects will span a time period of several years, hence the need for precise relocation.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby WillFairsea » Tue 28 May, 2019 3:49 pm

rangersac wrote:
sloz wrote:Apparently Jaffa vale between Dixon's Kingdom and Lake Ball is currently plastered with the stuff.


Yep, I was up there in late March and walked both the usual valley route and the newly flagged one, which was on the Solomon's throne side of the valley basically following the edge of the tree line. It had also obviously been in use for some time as the track was easy to follow. I presumed this was a Parks effort to try and reduce the foot traffic through the wetter areas of the valley in an effort to reduce erosion, but I really didn't see the value of it. The standard route is in pretty decent nick, the new route was wearing in fast, and you could clearly see where there were going to be new erosion issues before too long


I was in there a while ago. Assumed it wasn't a PWS move, as in any given location you could see up to six pieces of tape in either direction. The tape line also went up the the beautiful tarn SW of Dixon's Kingdom. Around here there were also lots of wooden/metal stakes in the ground. Anyone know what's going on? On a further side note, couple of obvious spots where people had had fires, Lake Adelaide, the aforementioned location of the stakes and even smack bang in the middle of Herodes Gate. A real shame.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby Hot073 » Fri 09 Aug, 2019 8:06 pm

I removed a shopping bag full of pink tape from the Rinadeena Falls Track today.
Someone had marked the track in pink tape every 20 metres or so.
I posted on Waterfalls of Tasmania that I removed it and have a commenter on there threatening to report me to Parks and Wildlife for removing it
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby bushwalker zane » Fri 09 Aug, 2019 8:19 pm

Hot073 wrote:I removed a shopping bag full of pink tape from the Rinadeena Falls Track today.
Someone had marked the track in pink tape every 20 metres or so.
I posted on Waterfalls of Tasmania that I removed it and have a commenter on there threatening to report me to Parks and Wildlife for removing it


What?! That's silly. That track is very easy to follow, and I don't remember there being pink tape lat time I was up there, so cudos to you Hot073.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Fri 09 Aug, 2019 8:25 pm

bushwalker zane wrote:
Hot073 wrote:I removed a shopping bag full of pink tape from the Rinadeena Falls Track today.
Someone had marked the track in pink tape every 20 metres or so.
I posted on Waterfalls of Tasmania that I removed it and have a commenter on there threatening to report me to Parks and Wildlife for removing it


What?! That's silly. That track is very easy to follow, and I don't remember there being pink tape lat time I was up there, so cudos to you Hot073.


Agreed. I'd go so far as encouraging it gets reported to parks so hopefully the idiots that put this *&%$#! up in the first place get reported.
Nothing to see here.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby Davo1 » Mon 23 Sep, 2019 8:39 am

Hot073 wrote..
"I posted on Waterfalls of Tasmania that I removed it and have a commenter on there threatening to report me to Parks and Wildlife for removing it"

Why does that not surprise me ....

Thanks for keeping it clean. It is happening way too often in recent times and we have also had to remove bags full from areas.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby Hot073 » Wed 25 Sep, 2019 10:51 am

Thanks for the positive feedback on this issue!
An alternative to a hard to see track turn off etc. for me has always been a rock cairn,way less intrusive and blends in with the environment better.
I wasn’t worried about being reported to PWS for removing it,another commenter on another site said it may be PWS marking it for upcoming track work!I seriously doubt that was the case though.
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby Hot073 » Sat 12 Oct, 2019 3:48 pm

Another day,another bag of tape walking to Clumner Bluff
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Re: Pink Tape in sensitive areas?

Postby north-north-west » Sat 12 Oct, 2019 4:53 pm

Some of that tape was useful - the pad is not particularly clear in places. Agreed, there's far too much visible in that photo, but I hope you didn't remove all the markers.
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